Lack of Adult Male Role Models in the Secondary Schools of Armenia

Careful review of research exploring gender themes in Armenia indicates gender issues in the country are currently under-evaluated and translated predominantly into women's issues. Most of the recommendations drawn from different research suggest special policies to support and reinforce their integration into traditionally male-dominated areas. According to CRRC-Armenia fellow Mariam Martirosyan, who studied the impact of the lack of adult male role models or senior male mentorship in Armenian schools, it is dangerous to ignore areas where significant under-representation of men is apparent, since in the long-term view, it may lead to a catastrophic outcome for the Armenian male, the Armenian family unit and Armenian society in general.

Mariam presented the results of the study to the community of school teachers and researchers on September 5, 2008. The conclusions are alarming; the lack of male teachers in contemporary Armenian schools causes misperceptions on masculinity and male gender values among teenagers, often resulting in increased crime rates and delinquent behavior among young male adolescents.

In the attempt to find solutions to the problem presented in the paper, the fellow recommended to attract and engage more men into Armenia's secondary schools by increasing their salaries; to bridge adult and young males via programs like the ZANG program, to assign male students of higher education institutions as mentors for primary, secondary and high-school students; to organize frequent tours to the army or to different factories dealing with technology and construction.

The fellow published an article in the June 2008 issue of "Journal of Education and Human Development" of the Scientific Journals International. The paper is available for download at the CRRC-Armenia website.